Hundreds of Historical Books Worth Rp.47 Billion Found Buried in Romania
Windowofworld.com – Two hundred historical books of great value, including the works of Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei, which were stolen in a Mission: Impossible-style robbery in England, were found buried underground in Romania.
According to British police, the books, valued at Rp.47 billion, were taken in a “very sophisticated” robbery at a warehouse in Feltham, west London, in January 2017. In the action, the thief broke through by making a hole in the roof of the warehouse and then descended, evading the motion sensor alarm.
The books, to be flown to a specialist auction in Las Vegas, were stolen in 16 large bags, with the robbers fleeing the warehouse through the roof.
Speaking shortly after the raid, book dealer Alessandro Meda Riquier said the stolen work included the second edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ book De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium in 1566, which was reportedly worth around Rp. 4 billion and was described as a “gem” in the catch.
He said he had lost the important books by Galileo and the extremely rare editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
An international police operation was launched to retrieve the “irreplaceable” items and on Wednesday they were found buried underground on a rural property in Neamt, Romania.
Detective Andy Durham said the find was the perfect ending to police operations involving officers in London, Romania and Italy.
“These books are very valuable, but more importantly they are irreplaceable and very important for international cultural heritage,” he said as quoted by Sky News, Saturday (19/9/2020).
British police say they have identified suspects who are part of a Romanian organized crime group responsible for high-value robberies across Britain.
The group is linked to several prominent Romanian criminal families called Clamparu, which have a complex history of high-value theft but avoided prosecution by committing offenses outside of Romania.
Police found evidence of 11 other offenses committed in the UK, where Rp38 billion worth of property was stolen with the perpetrators generally using the same method of getting in through the roof.
As part of the investigation, there were coordinated arrests and searches of 45 properties in Britain, Romania and Italy in June 2019.
Thirteen people were charged with criminal conspiracy to commit robbery and acquire property between December 2016 and April 2019.
Twelve people have pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next week. Meanwhile, the thirteenth defendant will be tried in March.